Random Quickies: Removing His Speech Bubbles Turns Dagwood Into a Faulknerian Manchild

The last couple of days, everyone’s been atwitter about 3eanuts, the blog that takes out the last panel and supposedly makes Peanuts more depressing. This never made sense to me, since I’m a pretty avid Peanuts reader and I always found it to be a depressing strip, final panel or not.

Instead, I give you Removing His Speech Bubbles Turns Dagwood Into a Faulknerian Manchild, whose premise is … well, I’m sure you get the idea. Like Garfield Minus Garfield, you’ll be surprised how much better a stodgy old strip looks by removing a key element. Dagwood acts like a silent film character (or perhaps like the dialogueless Mario Mario), which makes him far easier to sympathize with. And, dang it, sometimes it’s just plain adorable.


About El Santo

Somehow ended up reading and reviewing almost 300 different webcomics. Life is funny, huh? Despite owning two masks, is not actually a luchador.

Posted on March 31, 2011, in The Webcomic Overlook, webcomics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. wow — i never really got into Garfield Minus Garfield, but the blank stare of manchild-Dagwood is actually pretty funny.

  2. I love these sites that tweak the classic cartoons. They give you an clearer view of some of the psychosis’ built into the strip, a reveal, an easter-egg if you will, showing you what has always been there.

    But that’s also their downfall, there’s nothing new in the Garfield minus Garfield, or 3eanuts, and such. It’s a gimmick slapped on (or stripped away) on existing strips with no new content, just a revealing viewpoint proving what the author (or website creator) sees in the strip.

    Rod Salm

  3. I’m actually quite a big fan of Garfield (though I know that not all of the jokes work, and the live-action movies weren’t very good), I find that shouldn’t impede on my enjoyment of Garfield Minus Garfield, and it hasn’t. Heck, Jim Davis actually was very approving of GMG, and released a collection of it, with an introduction and a few of his own thrown in there. And I’ve never really been into Blondie, so this is definitely a very amusing (and at times, as you said, adorable). So thanks for the recommendation, El Santo!

    • I think that Jim Davis loved Garfield Minus Garfield because it brought the strip back to what his original intentions were. The earliest Garfield strips (the ones that Davis had the most input on) hinged on Jon being sort of a loser. But, over the years and after several cartoons and strips and movies and TV specials, Garfield ended up being about the adventures of the talking cat instead. So, when Garfield Minus Garfield showed up showing Jon Arbuckle to be a bit of a nut, I imagine Jim Davis had a bit of an epiphany and went, “Finally! Someone gets it!” (And yes, I still like Garfield. I thought it got better after Jon and Liz started dating personally.)

      The thing about 3eanuts is that it should take the average reader more than ten strips to figure out that there’s a lot of melancholy that’s only thinly buried in the strip. And the other Peanuts media never really changed that. The famous Christmas special is all about Charlie Brown getting fed up with the commercialism. One of the movies, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” has one of the biggest gut-punches in a kid’s movie: Charlie screws up the spelling bee on the simplest word, and he spends the entire next day sick in bed because he’s failed everyone he knows. I guess my point is deleting the last panel hardly changes anything. You’d think that the last panel is some sort of happy denouement to the misery in the existing three strips… but that’s not the case. Some times the last panel actually twists the knife even further. Sometimes it’s a tossed off quip about how life sucks and you have to deal with it.

      I don’t hate 3eanuts. I just think it’s doing too much of pointing the obvious, like stating that water is wet or the sky is blue.

  4. so cute! Faulknerian Manchild Dagwood makes me girl- giggle.

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